Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn‘s criminal case is moving forward, after an appeals court overwhelmingly rejected his bid to have the case quickly dismissed.
On Tuesday, the day after the appeals decision, Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn’s lawyers, the Department of Justice and a court-appointed lawyer to file a joint status report by Sept. 21 highlighting proposed next steps, including holding oral arguments on the DOJ’s request to drop its case against Flynn.
They must also suggest a schedule for the filing of briefs from the DOJ and Flynn, as well as for amicus curiae – outside responses to any of the briefs.
Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 of lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in connection with former special counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation, has since tried to withdraw his guilty plea and get the case dropped due to previously undisclosed documents. Flynn’s attorneys claim that the documents “establish that on January 25, 2017 … the agents and DOJ officials knew General Flynn’s statements were not material to any investigation.”
The DOJ indicated in May that it would drop its prosecution of the prominent Trump ally, but Sullivan prevented that from happening right off the bat. He instead appointed retired federal Judge John Gleeson to argue against dismissing the case, prompting Flynn’s legal team to assert that Sullivan was biased and overstepping his authority.
Before Sullivan decided whether or not Gleeson’s arguments merited a case dismissal, Flynn’s lawyers asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to grant a writ of mandamus, which would effectively force Sullivan to dismiss the case.
A three-judge panel sided with Flynn, but the case was further prolonged when Sullivan asked all the judges on the appeals court to rehear the case.
Monday’s 8-2 ruling found that Sullivan’s actions nearly met a “very high standard” of “conduct … so extreme as to display clear inability to render fair judgment,” thus allowing the case to proceed.